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An exploratory study of Swedish and Romanian organisations to investigate upcycling practice in the clothing industry

Manoj Kumar Paras (Department of Fashion Design, National Institute of Fashion Technology, Kangra, India)
Rudrajeet Pal (Department of Business Administration and Textile Management, The Swedish School of Textiles, University of Borås, Borås, Sweden and Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden)
Daniel Ekwall (Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business, University of Borås, Borås, Sweden and Supply Chain Management and Social Responsibility, Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland)

Research Journal of Textile and Apparel

ISSN: 1560-6074

Article publication date: 12 January 2023




The process of redesigning is one of the essential steps in upcycling, which comprises ideation, reconstruction and fitting. This paper aims to study the best practice of upcycling in the clothing industry. This study is an attempt to standardise upcycling/redesign process.


An exploratory approach was adopted to perform the research. This study draws on the multiple organisations involved in the upcycling of clothes. The organisations chosen for this study are located in Sweden and Romania using the snowball technique. Semi-structured interviews, direct and participatory observation approaches were used to collect information. The collected data are systematically analysed using NVivo 10 software.


This paper provides empirical insights into the diverse practices of upcycling. Process, product and demand-based were three fundamental approaches to performing the redesigning process. The fabric quality and durability, variations in size, colour and pattern, skills and efforts required in the extraction of parts and environmental consciousness and awareness were the main factors influencing upcycling process.

Research limitations/implications

The use of the European case may miss best practices from the other region. This study may help scholars to understand the method of upcycling. A practitioner of upcycling can use the findings to improve and standardise the existing process. This research is beneficial for society, as this leads to the reduction of textile wastage.


This paper conceptualises some of the best practices of clothes redesign. This provides a good insight for the organisation for the improvement in the redesign business.



Paras, M.K., Pal, R. and Ekwall, D. (2023), "An exploratory study of Swedish and Romanian organisations to investigate upcycling practice in the clothing industry", Research Journal of Textile and Apparel, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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